While I was potentially willing to travel to another west coast city to view an epic breakdance battle, yesterday I was lucky enough to get to witness one right here in Portland: the Ashes 2 Ashes: Round 5 Battle. And while the Facebook page and Youtube videos promised some legit dancers to be competing, I had my doubts how good they would really be. In my younger days, I attended a bunch of local bboy events since they were often paired with music shows, but the dancers were pretty amateur – and while it was fun, it wasn’t all that exciting.
Yesterday was far better than I expected. First of all, the event was 6+ hours of straight dance battles. First we got to watch (literally) 100 different dancers square up on 2v2 rounds, and then down the semi-finals, etc. A lot of the crews were from Portland, but most were actually from out of town.
The event ended with a 45-minute “King of the Hill” battle where one dancer would have a round to blow the judges mind, and then face a line of nine other dancers to defend their spot as number one. You know how exhausted you feel after 45 minutes of jogging? Imagine 45 minutes of spinning on your head and doing backflips. Those dudes are in the absolute peak of athletic ability, if you ask me. But wait – yes there were a few female dancers (though not many, and they didn’t make it very far).
I can tell you that if I knew of more events like this in Portland, I would go to every one; or make a weekend of it in Seattle. Perhaps someday I’ll get the chance to see one in Europe (where some of the most intense competitions happen) with all this sudden international travel coming my way. But for now – I’m totally checking this one off my list.